Online gambling ban: TN Government seeks inputs from stakeholders

Online gambling ban: TN Government seeks inputs from stakeholders

With Tamil Nadu reporting at least 20 deaths across the state due to losses suffered because of playing online rummy, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to get inputs and hold consultations with the stakeholders regarding a ban and regulating online games. In a press statement issued by the Home, Prohibition and Excise Department, the Government of Tamil Nadu says that leaders from political parties, psychologists and social activists have brought to the attention of the government the ill effects of addiction to online games and gambling. 

Earlier, a four-member committee led by former Madras High Court Justice K Chandru was constituted by the Tamil government to look into issues related to online gaming and submit a report. The Justice Chandru Committed had submitted its report and recommended ban on online games as these games do not involve any skill and it only leads to addiction.

The four-member panel had also recommended that the Tamil Nadu government should take all efforts to ensure that a law against online games is enacted at a national level by mounting pressure on the Union government.

It is in this backdrop that the Tamil Nadu government has decided to get inputs from all the stakeholders. “General public, Parents, Teachers, Students, Youth, Psychologists, Social Activists, Online Gaming Service Providers” have been invited to have their say on the proposed legislation on online games. 

The stakeholders’ consultation meeting will be held on August 11, 2022 and separate time slots will be given for organizations that are interested in making a representation. Of the total 20 deaths due to online gambling, Chennai has reported seven; eight people died of suicide in Coimbatore, Salem, Tirupur and Namakkal districts; four deaths in Tirupattur; and one in Vellore, Tuticorin and Dharmapuri each.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala

Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.   

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

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